On May 21, 2019, Venezuela’s Interim President Juan Guaido published a decree to extend the validity of Venezuelan passports for an additional five years past their printed date of expiration.   The U.S. Department of State announced Friday, June 7, 2019 that it would recognize as valid, passports extended under this decree for purposes of visa issuance and other consular purposes.
In the face of a government crisis causing a lack of basic resources such as electricity, food and water, Venezuelans are leaving the country in what the U.N. has called “the largest exodus in recent history of Latin America and the Caribbean.”   Globally, over 250,000 Venezuelan’s have filed asylum claims in 2018 alone.
Generally, citizens of Venezuela travelling to the United States only need to have a valid visa and a passport valid for their intended period of stay.  However, the closure of Venezuelan consulates and even the lack of proper paper and ink have rendered it nearly impossible for Venezuelans to maintain a valid passport. This automatic extension, and the willingness of the U.S. and 50 other countries to accept this change, will provide much needed relief for Venezuelans seeking refuge from their crumbling nation.
Maggio Kattar will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates via future Immigration Alerts as well as on our website at www.maggio-kattar.com